LANDFOWL (CHICKEN) FEATHERS AND FIBERS
In recent years, an increasing number of both bulk down shipments and finished products have excessive amounts of landfowl feathers and fibers.
This excessive landfowl is causing many products in North America, Japan and Europe to fail labeling standards.
Many labs (both internal and external) have not properly identified landfowl in the past.
Description of Landfowl
Large Landfowl Feathers. These are very easy to visually identify. IDFL always confirms these feathers under a microfiche.
Tiny Immature Chicken Feathers. These feathers are more difficult to visually identify. This material looks at first glance like a very tiny immature down cluster. However after careful training an analyst can identify these tiny feathers. IDFL always confirms our visual identification by micro-fiche. Landfowl material has a yellow tint.
Landfowl/Chicken Fibers. These fibers visually look almost like normal waterfowl feather fibers. A well-trained analyst can identify them and confirm by microfiche.
Value of Landfowl?
The tiny landfowl feathers that look like down clusters detract from the value of
down products. They have very low fill power and therefore low insulation value. Also, the landfowl is often not as clean as the waterfowl.
USA Label Tolerance
The USA-2000 Standard allows a maximum of 2% landfowl for a down product. For feather or blended products a maximum of 5% of the feather portion is allowed. If landfowl exceeds the maximums, the landfowl % must be included on the label.
Europe Label Tolerance
Landfowl is considered “other elements”. This means that if landfowl is found in a sample, it normally cannot be labeled “CLASS 1" or “NEW”. If landfowl exceeds 10% the term “LANDFOWL” must appear on the label. (See EN Standards for details.)
Have the testing methods or labeling tolerances changed recently?
NO, the testing method has been the same for 20 years. The USA and European labeling tolerances for landfowl have been the same since the year 2000.
Solutions and Recommendations for “landfowl” issue.
Buyers and vendors should explicitly state in their protocols, specifications and purchase contracts that landfowl must be below the maximum allowed.
If a product has large amounts of landfowl, the only solution is to include the landfowl % on the label.